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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Digital Television: An Overview

Digital Television: An Overview

Date: August 22, 2006
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G
Description: Digital television (DTV) is a new television service representing the most significant development in television technology since the advent of color television in the 1950s. DTV can provide sharper pictures, a wider screen, CD-quality sound, better color rendition, and other new services currently being developed. A successful deployment of DTV requires: the development by content providers of compelling digital programming; the delivery of digital signals to consumers by broadcast television stations, as well as cable and satellite television systems; and the widespread purchase and adoption by consumers of digital television equipment. A key issue in the Congressional debate over the digital transition has been addressing the millions of American over-the-air households whose existing analog televisions will require converter boxes in order to receive digital signals when the analog signal is turned off.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Date: July 17, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K
Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is one of several federally managed warning systems. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) jointly administers EAS with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in cooperation with the National Weather Service (NWS), an organization within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA/NWS weather radio system has been upgraded to an all-hazard warning capability. This report summarizes the technology and administration of EAS and the NOAA/NWS all-hazard network, and some of the key proposals for change
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Public Safety Communications Policy

Public Safety Communications Policy

Date: July 24, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K
Description: None
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Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Date: October 4, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K
Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is one of several federally managed warning systems. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) jointly administers EAS with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in cooperation with the National Weather Service (NWS), an organization within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA/NWS weather radio system has been upgraded to an all-hazard warning capability. This report summarizes the technology and administration of EAS and the NOAA/NWS all-hazard network, and some of the key proposals for change
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The FCC's "a la Carte" Reports

The FCC's "a la Carte" Reports

Date: March 30, 2006
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B
Description: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released two reports on a la carte pricing of cable television networks that reach contradictory conclusions. The purpose of this report is to explain how these two reports reached differing conclusions and to analyze the different assumptions and calculations used in each.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The FCC's "a la Carte" Reports

The FCC's "a la Carte" Reports

Date: March 30, 2006
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B
Description: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released two reports on a la carte pricing of cable television networks that reach contradictory conclusions. The purpose of this report is to explain how these two reports reached differing conclusions and to analyze the different assumptions and calculations used in each.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Digital Television: An Overview

Digital Television: An Overview

Date: August 22, 2006
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: Digital television (DTV) is a new television service representing the most significant development in television technology since the advent of color television in the 1950s. DTV can provide sharper pictures, a wider screen, CD-quality sound, better color rendition, and other new services currently being developed. A successful deployment of DTV requires: the development by content providers of compelling digital programming; the delivery of digital signals to consumers by broadcast television stations, as well as cable and satellite television systems; and the widespread purchase and adoption by consumers of digital television equipment. A key issue in the Congressional debate over the digital transition has been addressing the millions of American over-the-air households whose existing analog televisions will require converter boxes in order to receive digital signals when the analog signal is turned off.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Date: July 17, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is built on a structure conceived in the 1950s when over-the-air broadcasting was the best-available technology for widely disseminating emergency alerts. Bills in the 109th Congress that would improve emergency alert systems, domestically and internationally, include S. 50 (Senator Inouye) and H.R. 296 (Representative Menendez); these bills were prompted by the tsunami disaster but include measures that also apply to the need for a better all-hazard warning system in the United States. The report summarizes the technology and administration of EAS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Weather Service (NWS) all-hazard network, new programs in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and some of the key proposals for change.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Public Safety Communications Policy

Public Safety Communications Policy

Date: July 24, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: Since September 11, 2001, the effectiveness of America's communications capabilities in support of the information needs of first responders and other public safety workers has been a matter of concern to Congress. Most public safety advocates consider that the communications failures following the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina demonstrate that there is much still to be done to provide the United States with adequate communications capabilities in emergencies. This report explores several pieces of legislation aimed at improving the emergency management the emergency communications infrastructure.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

Date: June 12, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The present capability and future effectiveness of America's network of emergency telecommunications services are among the issues under review by Congress and other entities. As technologies that can support 911 improve, many are seeing the possibility of integrating 911 into a wider safety net of emergency communications and alerts. One of the intents of Congress in passing the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999, and of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in implementing the act, is to make 911 technology universally available throughout the United States. Legislation in the 109th Congress covering 911 or call centers all focus on assuring access to 911 call centers for users of Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) telephone service and on improving the delivery of 911 services nationwide. This report reviews key points about the implementation of 911.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Wireless Technology and Spectrum Demand: Advanced Wireless Services

Wireless Technology and Spectrum Demand: Advanced Wireless Services

Date: June 12, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: Advances in wireless telecommunications technology are converging with Internet technology to foster new generations of applications and services. Presently, the United States and other countries are moving to third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation mobile telephony. The defining feature of these technologies is that transmission speeds are significantly faster than prevailing technologies. A related trend is the growth in use of Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) and WiMAX (an industry designation for a specific broadband standard). This report describes various legislation relating to this expansion and ongoing telecommunications development.
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The Siting of Wireless Communications Facilities: An Overview of Federal, State, and Local Law

The Siting of Wireless Communications Facilities: An Overview of Federal, State, and Local Law

Date: September 4, 2008
Creator: Ruane, Kathleen
Description: The siting of wireless communications facilities has been a topic of controversy in communities all over the United States. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 governs federal, state, and local regulation of the siting of communications towers by placing certain limitations on local zoning authority without totally preempting state and local law. This report provides an overview of the federal, state, and local laws governing the siting of wireless communications facilities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Wireless Technology and Spectrum Demand: Advanced Wireless Services

Wireless Technology and Spectrum Demand: Advanced Wireless Services

Date: August 12, 2008
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: Advances in wireless telecommunications technology are converging with Internet technology to foster new generations of applications and services. Presently, the United States and other countries are moving to third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation mobile telephony. The defining feature of these technologies is that transmission speeds are significantly faster than prevailing technologies. A related trend is the growth in use of Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) and WiMAX (an industry designation for a specific broadband standard). This report describes various legislation relating to this expansion and ongoing telecommunications development.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Net Neutrality: Background and Issues

Net Neutrality: Background and Issues

Date: September 16, 2008
Creator: Gilroy, Angele E.
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Date: June 16, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: Today's 911 system is built on an infrastructure of analog technology that does not support many of the features that most Americans expect are part of an emergency response. Efforts to splice newer, digital technologies onto this aging infrastructure have created points of failure where a call can be dropped or misdirected, sometimes with tragic consequences. This report discusses efforts to modernize and update 911 emergency response technology, the funding for such efforts, and related pieces of legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Date: November 21, 2008
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: Today's 911 system is built on an infrastructure of analog technology that does not support many of the features that most Americans expect are part of an emergency response. Recognizing the importance of providing effective 911 service, Congress has passed three major bills supporting improvements in the handling of 911 emergency calls. This report includes a detailed overview of the 911 system, as well as related legislation and policies currently in consideration by Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Date: June 26, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is built on a structure conceived in the 1950's when over-the-air broadcasting was the best-available technology for widely disseminating emergency alerts. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), working with the Association of Public Television Stations, is implementing a program that will disseminate national alert messages over digital broadcast airwaves, using satellite and public TV broadcast towers. This program is referred to as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Legislation was passed at the end of the 109th Congress to assure funding to public television stations to install digital equipment to handle national alerts. The 111th Congress may pursue additional oversight to related programs that would continue to improve the nation's capability to provide alerts and information before, during, and after an emergency.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress

Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress

Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The convergence of wireless telecommunications technology and Internet protocols is fostering new generations of mobile technologies. This transformation has created new demands for advanced communications infrastructure and radio frequency spectrum capacity that can support high-speed, content-rich uses. This report considers the possibility of modifying spectrum policy: (1) to support national goals for broadband deployment by placing more emphasis on attracting new providers of wireless broadband services; and (2) to accommodate the wireless broadband needs of industries that are considered by many to be the economic drivers of the future, not only communications, but also areas such as energy, health care, transportation, and education.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Radio and Television Broadcasting to Cuba: Background and Current Issues

Radio and Television Broadcasting to Cuba: Background and Current Issues

Date: August 5, 1994
Creator: Epstein, Susan B. & Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: This report provides a legislative history and funding levels for Cuba Broadcasting. It discusses specific concerns some lawmakers have had with Radio and TV Marti over the years, and presents the Panel's recommendations and the USIA Director's response and determinations, as required by the FYI994 appropriations act.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress

Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress

Date: October 5, 2010
Creator: Schwemle, Barbara L.
Description: This report discusses legislation (S. 707 and H.R. 1722) designed to foster the development of telework in executive agencies of the federal government.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Date: March 15, 2011
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Description: This report discusses the continued debate amongst congressional policymakers regarding telecommunications reform. A major point of the ongoing discussion is whether action is needed to ensure unfettered access to the Internet.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals

Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals

Date: March 10, 2011
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Description: The United States and the other 153 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been engaged in a set or "round" of negotiations called the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) since December 2001. The DDA's main objective is to refine and expand the rules by which WTO members conduct foreign trade with one another. This report is designed to assist the 112th Congress to understand and monitor progress of the negotiations and the major issues that the negotiators are addressing. The report provides a brief background section on the significance of services to the U.S. economy. It then explains briefly the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the structure and agenda of the services negotiations in the DDA round, including U.S. objectives in the negotiations. The report concludes with a status report on the negotiations and an examination of potential results.
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Funding Emergency Communications: Technology and Policy Considerations

Funding Emergency Communications: Technology and Policy Considerations

Date: May 27, 2011
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The 112th Congress is under renewed pressure to come to a decision about the assignment of a block of radio frequency spectrum licenses referred to as the D Block, and to provide a plan for federal support of broadband networks for emergency communications. The cost of constructing new networks (wireless and wireline) is estimated by experts to be in the tens of billions of dollars over the long term, with similarly large sums needed for maintenance and operation. Identifying money for federal support in the current climate of budget constraints provides a challenge to policy makers. The greater challenge, however, may be to assure that funds are spent effectively toward the national goals that Congress sets.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Date: April 25, 2011
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Description: This report discusses the continued debate amongst congressional policymakers regarding telecommunications reform. A major point of the ongoing discussion is whether action is needed to ensure unfettered access to the Internet.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department